And so on that topic of the economy rather than the markets in theU .S. Do you fear a recession are there any signs you see that suggest one is on the horizon in the next year or so.
I think people have been worried about recessions for two or three years. I’ve taken the view that there was enough labor hiding in the participation rate we had frightened people away out of the workforce but.
On on on the numbers they were there looking around somewhere and in the last two or three years we have quite effectively drawn back about one and a half percent. People who were dismayed and weren’t bothering now have registered and show up and they employed all the unemployed. And. That game may still have a point and a half left and a point and a half could keep us going for another couple of years. Or it could stop tomorrow. The point is what we cannot do is we cannot grow at the speed we’ve grown for the last 10 years. Because the labor pool is simply not available. And the underlying productivity has not been there.
For a long time. And what about the global growth outlook. Clearly fears about that had surfaced in the second half of last year. Do you feel like they’re adequately priced in now or is that one of my problems is I always like to think longer term apparently than anybody else but when companies do very well it can be inconvenient but the growth rate of the population of the developed world. Has gone to hell. And the population eventually will start to decline in the next.
Couple of decades. Everywhere in the developed world. You need two point one percent fertility rate to replace. The U.S. just announced one point seven six 15 percent below that it’s below in every developed country. This really has an effect on the top line numbers. And there’s no way around that it’s not going to change ever. I would. Guess. So we have lower. Workforce growth. We have an aging population which doesn’t help. And the growth rate of the of the whole developed world is settling down. Maybe one and a half in the U.S. maybe one in Europe. Are much lower than people seem to get their brain around and outside Europe. I think the population growth is. I am certain the population growth rate is also slowing. And so generally speaking we can look at a world where the secular growth is getting slower. That’s the long term picture. Over the next two or three years I suppose the understatement is your guess is as good as mine.
Sir enough and let’s dive into Europe a little bit more as we were discussing the ECB has downgraded its growth forecast from one point seven to one point one percent. Is there a bigger problem bubbling under the surface. Could they face another existential crisis like they did in 2010 to 12 anytime soon.
The downgrading by the way is getting awfully close to what I think is the long term growth rate about one. No one else believes that but I’m pretty confident they will eventually. So they’re going to have to learn to live with a low growth rate. They have of course other problems of immigration which has been rattling the cage so viciously for the last three or four years politically. And that is highly unlikely to go away. Africa is the only place on the planet where the growth rate in population is still. Prodigious. And the UN says they’re going to produce an extra three billion people. And the rest of the world will be declining. Now there won’t be three billion extra Africans but that may well be one one and a half or two billion. And there will be immigration waves that make the recent experience look trivial. Now it’s going to stress out the European politics and I think that will be the biggest factor. And as they get stressed out it produces opportunities for the big players Russia China to misbehave or behave about it but it increases uncertainty.
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